08/09/2013 9:40PM

Del Mar: Tasty Treat takes them all the way in Daisycutter Handicap

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Benoit & Associates
Tasty Treat, with Rafael Bejarano up, wins the $111,050 Daisycutter Handicap at Del Mar.

DEL MAR, Calif. – Rafael Bejarano was on time with Tasty Treat in Friday’s $111,050 Daisycutter Handicap at Del Mar.

The top rider at the current Del Mar meeting, Bejarano did not start the twilight program that way, missing his mount in the first race on Exotic Slew.

“I was stuck in traffic,” he said.

Bejarano was on hand by the second race and had no problems aboard Tasty Treat later in the evening.

A 4-year-old California-bred filly by Roar, Tasty Treat led throughout the Daisycutter over five furlongs on turf for fillies and mares. Tasty Treat ($6.80) set fractions of 21.94 and 45.28 seconds and was not challenged in the stretch, winning by 1 3/4 lengths over Belle de Lune. Kinz Funky Monkey finished an unlucky third, racing in traffic on the backstretch and the turn and still closing ground late in the field of eight.
Tasty Treat was timed in 55.63 seconds, winning the first stakes of his career.

Bejarano said his best chance to win was to take an early lead. Tasty Treat led by at least a length throughout the dash.

“She was flying from the gate and was sharp,” he said. “I knew there was a lot of speed. I just wanted to take the lead and not look back.”

Tasty Treat races for Brian, Rhonda, and Tom Cunningham and trainer Mike Pender. Her win capped a remarkable six-month period. Back in March, Tasty Treat got loose in the barn area at Betfair Hollywood Park and struck a pole, opening a lengthy gash in her shoulder that required extensive stitches.

Tasty Treat returned to racing in June, finishing second in an optional claimer at Hollywood Park. She won a five-furlong optional claimer here July 18 as a prep for Friday’s race. Tasty Treat has won 7 of 17 starts and $333,874.